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Thunderbolt VS Droid 3?

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid 3' started by TDevilsG, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. TDevilsG
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    TDevilsG New Member

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    Hello Everyone, I've had a Thunderbolt since launch and although its a very fast and powerful phone with 4GLTE coverage, I haven't been that impressed overall with it. Particularly, the battery life has been awful and if I plan on sticking with this phone, I will need to upgrade the stock battery to one thats a lot more powerful in the near future. Also bear in mind that I've rooted the TB and placed a very fast rom on it, although the battery life is equally as bad and I haven't thrown a custom kernel on it to underclock and save battery life. I've read thus far that the Droid 3's battery is not that much better than the Thunderbolt, although I feel it is still far too early to make this statement without messing with the phone a bit.

    I've been waiting for the Droid 3 to come out for equally as long as the Thunderbolt. I was originally of the mind we would get 4GLTE coverage out of it, but unfortunately as we all know that simply did not happen. I'm really dying for a new physical keyboard, and I've heard that the Droid 3 has a very impressive one. This is probably the biggest factor for me and incentive for getting a Droid 3 as I'm not the biggest phone of a virtual keyboard and its difficult to write long messages without having to make multiple corrections. The speed of the phone is not a real factor in my mind, as the Thunderbolt is a very fast phone. I would suspect that both phones would be equally fast in performing tasks, regardless of the Dual Core processor. So really, my question to those of you who either 1)Own a Droid 3 now or 2)owned a thunderbolt previously and sold it for a Droid 3, do you believe it is worth getting a Droid 3 over the Thunderbolt? I would be selling the Thunderbolt and taking a moderate hit (I would suspect I could get anywhere around $325-$350 tops for the Thunderbolt selling it on Ebay) of at least a $100 dollars for the Droid 3, for what feels like a downgrade to a phone without 4GLTE coverage. I'm debating if a slower internet connection (3G coverage) is worth it. If any of you are curious, what I would be most interested in with the Droid 3 is the 3G coverage (is it the same speed as the OG or faster due to the dual core processor?), the ability to write long messages with the physical keyboard with relative ease, the battery life, the camera (the Thunderbolt actually has an exellent camera), the screen quality and just overall impressions of which phone you prefer. Can you guys please share your thoughts? Thank you.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  2. blackmagick20
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    blackmagick20 New Member

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    Oh boy...you sounded like me about a week ago. I had the Tbolt since release day and thought it wasn't all that great. I swore I wouldn't go without a physical keyboard and I was kicking myself for going back on that. I had an extra upgrade due to a Verizon screw up, so I got the D3 for $150. The keyboard on the D3 is AMAZING to say the least. My thoughts on the camera...I didn't think that the Tbolt's camera was all that great. It tried to focus before flash, so a lot of my pictures that weren't in perfect lighting we really out of focus. The camera on the D3 is simply impressive to say the least. As fat as the battery life...umm...the D3 blows the Tbolt out of the water. My first full charge got me 8 hours with fairly decent load. I was on wifi, but I was redownloading all of my apps, playing with the phone, and setting it up how I wanted. Today was the first real test of my D3 and I'm currently on 14 hours of battery time with 20% still left and I've done quite a lot on it. I also love the screen over the Tbolt. Yes...if you find certain things and you put it right up to your face, you can see some pixels, but...I work outside and the Tbolt is simply worthless outdoors in any sunlight. This screen actually almost glows and you can see it clear as day. I'm constantly impressed by it. Also...good luck selling your Tbolt. There are quite a few of them on craigslist for $250-$300. I have mine listed for $300 because I have an extra battery and two cases. I've yet to get one single contact since last Wednesday. Everyone is apparently getting rid of it. I hope some of my rambling helps you out!
  3. blackmagick20
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    blackmagick20 New Member

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    And to add to it...I hated the unlock button on the Tbolt because it was too mushy. I love the D3's. I also hated that whenever you did a reset, battery pull, or one of it's randomly notorious reboots on its own...it would take mine about 5 minutes to come back on. I'm pretty sure the D3 turns on in less than 30 seconds. Oh yea...and...the Tbolt never felt comfortable in my hands. I have average size hands for a guy and (I broke my hand twice due to sports anger...when I was young and stupid) my thumb or pinky would pop trying to just use the phone and pull down the notification bar or something. Other times...when I stretched to reach the bar, the pad of my palm would long press something on the screen. I hated that. The D3 feels perfect in my hands and is really one of the best phones I've owned
  4. TDevilsG
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    TDevilsG New Member

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    Thanks, Blackmagick. Don't you miss the 4G coverage though? The phone is incredibly fast when it comes to browsing. How much of a downgrade is this? And the battery sounds just a nudge better than the TBolt based on what you said; I think I would get about 12 hours out of the TBolt with light to moderate use.

    Also, just a suggestion but I would consider selling through Ebay as I am consistently low-balled on Craigslist.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  5. Immolate
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    Immolate New Member

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    As you can see by my avatar, I came to the D3 from the Thunderbolt. Unlike the two of you, I found it to be an excellent phone with few drawbacks. I found the occasional spontaneous reboot aggravating but not really impacting. It would be sitting on my desk looking gorgeous and my eye would be drawn to the white screen as it restarted itself. I only had that happen one time in the last few weeks I used it. I'd been on dasBAMF for a long time and the later builds were much less likely to reboot for me.

    With the ROM, the phone was fast, interaction was excellent and I could play Netflix. I don't live in a 4G area so that wasn't even much of a factor for me. The screen was pretty, build quality was great and I loved how smooth the phone felt in my hand. I even got battery performance stock that was sufficient for going from wake-up to bed time.

    D3 is a different animal. I don't find the aesthetic as pleasing and the feel of it is less pleasing because of its angles. The .3" less screen is surprisingly noticeable. Blur is nowhere near as enjoyable as Sense 3.0. I find the D3's way of handling internal vs. external memory a bit baffling. D3 is not noticeably faster than Thunderbolt.

    That's the negatives. I'd like to note that the design of the D3 is not ugly to me, just not as sweet as the Thunderbolt. The build quality is superb as we expect from Motorola, but I think it is more refined than the D2, D1 or DX. While Blur is no Sense, this version comes closer than previous versions to being neutral in appeal. I like the all-glass top shelf. I only wish Gorilla Glass didn't love fingerprints so much :)

    Now... separate paragraph for the keyboard. If a keyboard must be confined to the real-estate of a mobile phone, I cannot imagine what they could have done better than they did on this one. If I had to vote for the most impressive feature that I've experienced on any single instrument since the D1 came out, I would say it is the D3 keyboard. The keys are perfectly spaced and nicely convex, making them easy to "feel" and differentiate. The press of the key is just right. It isn't even a little stiff, but neither is it mushy. You get the slightest of muted clicks when you depress a key, but it is unmistakable and exactly what you need in the way of tactile feedback. You can tell a lot of thought and experience went into the design of the keyboard - not just the mechanics - but the layout and design decisions are insightful. Arrow keys, return key, delete key, tab key, even a no-shift @ key, just perfect. The fifth row of number keys puts the icing on the cake. Don't sell them short--they are a huge plus on this keyboard. No keyboard could ever touch this one without the number keys.

    I'm getting good battery life. today was a slow day as I was working on my office after going to see Transformers and didn't get on the phone that much. I'm at 24 hours right now without a charge and 60% battery. That's pretty awesome compared to the typical Tbolt experience. I find the screen to be well within the range of what a high-end smart phone should have. Colors are true and detail is solid. I haven't had any moment of annoyance caused by the pentile matrix. I can find the checkerboard if I really try, but the checkerboard isn't finding me... so far.

    I'm not a camera expert so I'll leave that to someone else. The HDMI port is good. I still have a cable from my DX for that. 1080p mirroring as well. The power button is much much better than Tbolt. It's also nice to have the SD-card on top of the battery. I could have used that with the Tbolt since most of the time I had it, I couldn't directly access the SD card while plugged into my computer.

    To me, if 4G or ROM support are game changers for you, stick with the Thunderbolt. If a physical keyboard is a big deal for you, THIS IS YOUR PHONE. If all of those are just nice-to-haves, then you have an interesting decision to make. If I were in that spot, I'd hold off for the Bionic and see if it makes the choice easier.
  6. blackmagick20
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    blackmagick20 New Member

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    Wait...how is the battery life even close? I couldn't get 4 hours out of the Tbolt on light use...but I'm getting 12 to 14 hours with the D3 on heavy use. Last time I checked...that's 10 more hours

    Sent from my DROID3 using DroidForums
  7. blackmagick20
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    blackmagick20 New Member

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    In my opinion...Sense is awful and Blur is better...that's just a matter of opinion. Bottom line is that I'm still trying to figure out why people need others to help them make their decision for them. They're not grown up enough to say 'hey...I want a keyboard' and buy the hpone they want. It's just a phone...not a final resting plot

    Sent from my DROID3 using DroidForums
  8. jweber228
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    jweber228 New Member

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    I'm still waiting on my D3 but my wife has a tbolt. She is a very light user and can't make it thru the day on a charge. As for build quality on the tbolt.... let's just say she dropped it one time and now half the screen has an odd colored fuzzy overlay on the top third of the screen. She dropped it kinda hard, but not even close to the abuse/drops my D1 has survived. She even had a protective case on that tbolt. I'm not impressed by the tbolt's build quality at all. Gonna be real mad if we have to pay the deductable to get a replacement.
  9. KidCuda
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    KidCuda New Member

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    Yeah I returned my tbolt before my two weeks were up and ordered the Droid 3 last Thursday (still waiting). But as you guys said, 4G is not essential for me right now. And i kinda miss blur in a sick kind of way... :p

    Sent from my Droid X (soon to be Droid 3) using Tapatalk
  10. TDevilsG
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    TDevilsG New Member

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    Thanks again for your response, Blackmagick. For me it has nothing to do with being more grown up, but rather that I value the opinion of people on this website, will be taking a hit on the sale of my TBolt so I can get the D3, and would like to see what others thought making the same move.

    I work in NY and unplug my Tbolt around 7:30AM everyday. It usually dies around 6-7PM. So thats about 11.5 hours. It's pretty awful of course, but thats because I never made the move to getting a better battery. I guess the biggest factor for me will be 4G VS Keyboard as paying the same amount I was paying for 4G in what will be 3G coverage with the D3 will be a step back in my eyes.
  11. rushmore
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    rushmore New Member

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    Bah,

    A lot of subjective points, so always different views. The TB after the updates is a decent device, but I liked the display better on the DX2, so guessing the more packed pixels on the D3 looks even better. Not to mention the DX2 and D3 look very good outside, where the TB is hard to read.

    As far as the storage, the D3 makes the most sense, since you can hot swap sd cards (can not on TB) and not worry about apps freaking out, because app data is in the internal flash. The DX2 is set up this way too, but pointless since like the TB, the card is stuck behind the battery.

    The only thing IMO that the TB has over the D3 is the 4.3" display. LTE is moot for me, since another year before common in my area and the current LTE chips are battery hogs.

    D3 has a much faster chipset, better on battery, 9GB more internal storage, HDMI and apparently the best keyboard ever, for a smartphone.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  12. blackmagick20
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    blackmagick20 New Member

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    It's all the little things that make the D3 so much better than the Tbolt to me. I love how I can actually see the notification LED at all times. The Tbolt's is just awful and you never notice it. I also love, love, love the screen. I mainly work outside/in a truck at all times and I had to take my sunglasses off and shade the Tbolt to barely read texts. The D3 screen almost glows in the outdoors that it's so visible. I can't say enough good things about the screen. I just didn't get the big deal about 4G, anyway. It doesn't make me get calls or texts any faster and the gps took forever to lock. I honestly can't think of one thing I liked better about the Tbolt than I do the D3

    Sent from my DROID3 using DroidForums
  13. Immolate
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    Immolate New Member

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    Yup could never read diddly on the Tbolt outside on a sunny day. I never really had a problem with the stock battery, and after BAMF, it wasn't even a concern. But everyone's circumstances are unique, and every phone is unique. I'm also very easy on my phones for the most part. I don't use a case and I think I dropped my OG once. DX and Tbolt never hit the floor. This is why I love Android. There's a phone for everyone, and it doesn't have to be black.
  14. TDevilsG
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    TDevilsG New Member

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    Just out of curiousity, what was your reasoning behind giving up the TB in exchange for the Droid 3? I'll admit the screen is pretty impressive with the TB, and its a very clear image. That's probably the 2nd thing I'll miss most besides the 4G.


    4G is what I'll miss most about the TB. I think it's phenomenal and TB was the guinea pig of Verizon's experiment. I'm actually just starting to get used to sending out decent messages on the TB, but when it comes to internet browsing, I am very prone to making typing mistakes on the TB and its difficult to retrace your steps on it. Emails would also be slightly difficult as well. Is the Bionic supposed to have a physical keyboard, btw?
  15. Immolate
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    Immolate New Member

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    The screenshots of the Bionic look oddly Droid-like, but everything I've seen says no keyboard, and the screenshots are still a bit mystery-shrouded.

    I picked up the D3 because my daughter wanted the Tbolt for her birthday. To give her that, I had to use an upgrade, so the D3 was the obvious choice. I'm more of a plank man myself after DX and Tbolt for so long, and I love the big screens, but The DX2 looked exactly like the DX so it wasn't a tough sell to get me to pick up the D3. A month from now I'll use another upgrade for the Bionic and probably hand the Droid 3 down. My wife is a former ENV2 adherent, so she'll probably be ripe to migrate off that Fascinate she got without consulting me (and hates). So many phone civilians buy phones by the look and don't realize that a pretty package doesn't really keep the love alive after the honeymoon.
  16. ultimatebombero
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    ultimatebombero New Member

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    This is my internal debate,too... I'm using a D1 and debating between the tbolt or the D3...I was leaning towards the Revolution due to netflix, but after hearing about call quality issues and the hardware, I'm not sure if it is for me. Raleigh gets 4g sometime "this summer", and I'm a heavy user, so battery life is a big issue. If the D3 gets netflix, its a done deal for me.

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums
  17. Immolate
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    Immolate New Member

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    Thunderbolt has had Netflix on root for some time now and it work flawlessly. I haven't found an APK of Netflix that works on D3 yet. Close but no cigar.
  18. ultimatebombero
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    ultimatebombero New Member

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    I have no idea how to root a phone or where I can find someone who can.

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums
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